Unraveling Injustice: May Day, Shrinking Freedoms, and the Garment Industry

May Day greetings to you all!

On this International Workers' Day, we continue to fight for regulation, redistribution and democracy within global supply chains - committed to a future where workplaces are free of exploitation and repression. Workers across Asia toil under the weight of a system prioritising profit over people. Their labour is the backbone of the garment industry, yet fashion brands relentlessly chase profits – sacrificing worker wellbeing by forcing them into unsafe working conditions and impossibly low wages.

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11 years of Rana Plaza Tragedy: AFWA Stand in Solemn Remembrance of the Lives Stolen

The collapse of Rana Plaza was not an accident; it was the devastating outcome of the brand-driven global fashion industry that values profit over the safety and dignity of human beings. It exposed the deadly consequences of unregulated global garment production regimes, unchecked greed, and consumer indifference to the true cost of our clothes.  We at AFWA stand in solemn remembrance of the lives stolen at Rana Plaza. We honour the garment workers, their families, and their communities forever scarred by this preventable disaster.

Click here to read the statement in English


Asia Floor Wage Alliance Joint Statement for Myanmar Workers on Resistance Day

On this Resistance Day, March 27, 2024, Asia Floor Wage Alliance trade unions, representing over 850,000 garment workers across Asia, stand in solidarity with the workers of Myanmar in their struggle to restore democracy. Throughout history, the labor movement has been a force for democracy worldwide. In keeping with this tradition, we support the call from workers and their families, trade unions, and labor rights and civil society organizations in Myanmar to resist dictatorship by demanding political and economic intervention to safeguard both life and livelihood.

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International Women’s Day 2024: AFWA’s Call to Action for Gender Equity in the Garment Industry on International Women’s Day

As we celebrate International Women's Day, Asia Floor Wage Alliance (AFWA) stands in solidarity with women around the world, especially those working in the garment industry. Today, our collective voice amplifies the urgent call to address widespread informalisation within global supply chains across Asia, a systemic challenge that disproportionately affects women, perpetuating gender-based discrimination, and impeding women from exercising fundamental rights, such as freedom of association.

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Statement by the Garment Workers Alliance Supporting Bangladeshi Workers’ Demand for a Minimum Wage of Tk 23,000

We, as the Garment Workers Alliance, Bangladesh, representing a strong coalition of 15 trade unions, are committed to championing the well-being and rights of garment workers in Bangladesh. We emphatically demand the immediate establishment of a minimum wage of Tk 23,000 (USD 209) for our garment workers. 

Read the statement in English

Joint Statement by Cambodian Garment Worker Unions on Minimum Wage Increase in 2024

A joint statement by 12 garment worker unions and national and international civil society organisations, including Asia Floor Wage Alliance, expressing their disappointment over the newly declared minimum wage for garment workers in Cambodia for the year 2024. The new minimum wage $204 is far less than the demand of $213 that workers and unions were asking.

Read the statement in Khmer | English

Oversight Committee Statement on the Progress During the First Year After the Signing of The Dindigul Agreement

A statement by the Oversight Committee of the Dindigul Agreement, of which signatory fashion brands are also members, on their continued support one year after their signing on and their continued commitment to the agreement.

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38 Garment Unions Call on European Unions to Support the ECI on Living Wages – Good Clothes, Fair Pay

Asian and African trade unions are calling on European trade unions to support the Good Clothes, Fair Pay campaign. This initiative calls on the European Commission to implement specific legislation that would require garment brands & retailers importing into the EU market to put in place, implement, monitor, and publicly disclose a time-bound and target-bound plan to close the gap between actual and living wages.

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Joint Statement from Sri Lanka Workers Unions and Organizations on the Removal of Unions from the National Labour Advisory Council

Labour unions and organisations, represented by the AFWA - Sri Lanka, strongly condemn the actions of the NLAC, which has resulted in the removal of independent trade unions and the only woman worker representation within the body.

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May Day 2023: Garment Workers Demand Corporate Accountability

This May Day, Asia Floor Wage Alliance reaffirms our commitment to continue to fight for living wages, gender justice and supply chain regulation for the well-being of garment workers in Asia.

Read in English | Bahasa Indonesia | Khmer | Vietnamese | Bengali | Kannada | Sinhala

AFWA Bangladesh Supports Trade Unions’ Demand for a Minimum Wage Hike

Bangladesh conducted its last minimum wage negotiations in 2018. Five years on, Bangladeshi garment workers are barely making ends meet. This year, Asia Floor Wage Alliance Bangladesh is supporting the demand of trade unions of the ready-made garments (RMG) sector to increase the minimum wage for garment workers in Bangladesh. 

Click here to read in: English | Bengali

Fact Sheet: OECD complaint against Nike by 20 Garment Sector Unions, AFWA, GLJ-ILRF

Twenty garment sector unions, Asia Floor Wage Alliance (AFWA) and Global Labor Justice - International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ-ILRF) filed a complaint to the US National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines for Responsible Business Conduct at the US State Department, alleging breaches of the OECD Guidelines by multinational enterprise Nike.

Click here to read in: English | Bahasa | Urdu | Khmer


Fact Sheet: The Dindigul Agreement to End Gender-Based Violence and Harassment

In April 2022, a set of interlocking agreements were signed between factories, fashion companies, the women-led Indian union Tamil Nadu Textile and Common Labour Union (TTCU), Asia Floor Wage Alliance and Global Labor Justice - International Labor Rights Forum to create an enforceable and binding agreement called the Dindigul Agreement to eliminate caste and gender-based violence and harassment.

Read the fact sheet: English | Khmer

TTCU, AFWA, GLJ-ILRF and Eastman Exports Make Joint Statement after Natchi Apparels US Import Ban Lifted

An unprecedented collaboration between apparel manufacturer Eastman Exports and labour stakeholders TTCU, AFWA and GLJ-ILRF led to the historic reversal of a decision by the US government, thereby protecting both businesses and thousands of jobs for women workers.

Click here to read in: English

Statement on Toxic Gas Leak Leading to Hospitalization of Hundreds of Workers at Brandix’s Manufacturing Unit in Andhra Pradesh, India

AFWA Sri Lanka and AFWA India released a statement condemning multi-national garment manufacturer Brandix after a toxic gas leak left hundreds of workers in Andhra Pradesh, India, hospitalised. This comes months after a COVID-19 super-spreader event by Brandix Lanka infected over 1,000 workers in 2020.

Click here to read in: English

Joint Statement by Asia Floor Wage Alliance and Focus on Global South at the World Economic Forum, 2022

Asia Floor Wage Alliance (AFWA) and Focus on Global South released a joint statement at the World Economic Forum, 2022. The statement calls for protecting workers’ rights in garment global supply chains as an important strategy for economic development in the Global South.

Click here to read in: English

Joint Statement by 220+ Civil Society and Trade Union Organizations on Proposed EU Directive

In February, the European Commission released its proposal for a directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence. In response, over 220 NGOs and trade unions from around the world welcomed the proposal as an essential and long-awaited step toward corporate accountability but called for the proposal to be strengthened to end corporate harm to human rights, the environment and climate.

Click here to read in: English

AFWA, GLJ-ILRF Respond to Brandix Lanka’s Denial of Our Report on their Covid-19 Violations at Minuwangoda Plant in October 2020

AFWA and GLJ-ILRF hope that Brandix Lanka will follow the recommendations made in our recent April 2022 report, Voices from the Field: Reprisals and Repression of Garment Worker Unions and Workers Organizations During COVID-19 in Sri Lanka, including to respect freedom of association and engage in dialogue with women-led trade unions. Brandix Lanka’s recent response to our report has several inaccuracies that we welcome the opportunity to correct.

Click here to read in English.

Joint Statement on the Landmark Dindigul Agreement to Eliminate Gender-Based Violence and Harassment at Eastman Exports, Natchi Apparels

The Tamil Nadu Textile and Common Labour Union, the Asia Floor Wage Alliance, and Global Labor Justice - International Labor Rights Forum, along with Eastman Exports Global Clothing Private Limited and H&M Group, jointly announced the groundbreaking Dindigul Agreement to Eliminate Gender-Based Violence and Harassment (GBVH). This is a set of agreements to jointly commit to working together from their supply chain role to eradicate discrimination based on gender, caste, or migration status; increase transparency, and develop a culture of mutual respect in the garment factory setting. U.S. companies Gap Inc. and PVH signed similar agreements later in 2022.

Click here to read in: English

AFWA and 19 Labor and Sustainability Organisations Propose to Strengthen New York’s Fashion Act

New York lawmakers are introducing an exciting bill that will transform the fashion industry to hold NY brands and retailers accountable for their environmental and social impacts. However, the first draft leaves a lot to be desired. Read the response and proposed amendments to New York’s Fashion Sustainability and Social Accountability Act (Fashion Act) from 20 organizations to the New York City elected officials

Click here to read in: English

One Year On, We Remember Garment Worker Leader Jeyasre Kathiravel as We Push for Groundbreaking Agreement to Prevent Gender-Based Violence

A year ago this week, garment worker leader Jeyasre Kathiravel was murdered by her supervisor in Tamil Nadu. AFWA honors her life & stands with her family & fellow union members by continuing to push to end gender, caste & migrant status-based violence in this statement.

Click to read in: English

Women Workers, Trade Unions and Grassroots Organisations Unite to Demand Governments Address Gender-Based Violence in all Workplaces and Ratify ILO C-190

Women workers, particularly in the Global South, have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and its fallout. Now, more than ever, governments need to ratify ILO Convention 190 (C190) and its accompanying Recommendation No. 206 (R206), as a pathway to end violence and harassment in all workplaces and rebuild society with justice and equality at the center.

Click here to read in: English

Open Letter to EU Policymakers to Protect Workers in all Tiers of Supply Chains by AFWA, WIEGO, Home-Based Women Workers Federation, HomeNet & NTUF

The European Commission is drafting legislation mandating companies to uphold human rights in their supply chains. The Directive should apply to all workers in all tiers of the chain. Read our Open Letter to European Union policymakers written along with the Home-Based Women Workers Federation (HBWWF), HomeNet International (HNI), HomeNet South Asia (HNSA), HomeNet Southeast Asia (HNSEA), National Trade Union Federation, Pakistan (NTUF) and Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO).

Click here to read in: English

Joint Statement by International Dalit Solidarity Network and Asia Floor Wage Alliance

International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN) and Asia Floor Wage Alliance (AFWA) echo the call by National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR) and Tamil Nadu Textile and Common Labour Union (TTCU) on garment brands to negotiate a binding agreement to end systemic gender-based violence that leverages caste discrimination at H&M supplier factory Natchi Apparels after a 21-year-old Dalit garment worker was murdered by her dominant caste factory supervisor earlier this year.

Click here to read in: English

AFWA, WIEGO, HNSA, and HNSEA Demand a COVID-19 Supply Chain Relief Contribution from Brands for all Garment Workers

AFWA, WIEGO, HNSA and HNSEA jointly demand that global brands in the fashion industry make a Supply-chain Relief Contribution (SRC) to all garment workers in their supply chains during the COVID-19 crisis. Workers include time-rated, piece-rated, subcontracted, and home workers.

Click here to read in: English

May Day Statement 2020: Defend Union Rights! Struggle for a Living wage!

The COVID-19 disaster has ravaged people, nations, and workers globally. It has starkly exposed the vulnerability of workers all around the world, more so in industries that are based on low wages and inhumane working conditions. The COVID -19 crisis requires our governments to serve vulnerable communities and the working poor and to bolster their confidence by being responsive, transparent and participatory. We stand for our unions and reaffirm our right to form unions and to democratically participate to shape our industry, society and state.

Click here to read in: English

Remember the Victims on the 7th Anniversary of the Rana Plaza Tragedy & Commit to Change the Global Garment Industry

Today marks seven years since the tragic Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh that killed 1134 workers and injured 2500 or more, in one of the deadliest industrial disasters in modern history. In this time of COVID-19 pandemic, when the world is re-thinking globalization, Rana Plaza is an important marker that holds many lessons for us. In these dire circumstances, it is imperative that the brands that appropriate billions in profits are made accountable for safe working conditions as well as the well-being of workers.

Click here to read in: English | Sinhala

Brands’ Responsibility in COVID-19 Humanitarian Crisis: Contribute to Garment Workers’ Relief

AFWA has been working with its trade union partners in Asia to provide relief to workers, to understand the immediate needs facing workers, and to formulate a demand to fashion brands who must take responsibility for workers’ financial welfare at a time of tremendous wage loss. Through consultation with trade unions, AFWA has evolved a concrete set of demands for brands.

Click here to read in: English | Sinhala | Tamil | Bengali

AFWA Statement on Garment Worker’s Demands in the face of the COVID-19 Crisis

AFWA released a statement on Garment Workers’ Demands in the face of COVID-19 Crisis. The statement looks into the responses of Global Supply Chain Production Countries to COVID-19 Crisis and also provides a charter of demands from garment workers, to the government, brands, and suppliers.

Click here to read in: English | Khmer | Sinhala | Bahasa

Public Statement on Deaths of Garment Workers in Nandan Denim Factory | Gujarat, India

AFWA released a statement on the death of garment workers due to a fire at the Nandan Garment Factory, in Gujarat, India. Nandan Denim supplies jeans, denim, and other garments to more than 20 global brands including U.S. companies such as Target, Ann Taylor, Mango, and Wrangler.

Click here to read in: English

AFWA Position on ACT: Analysis of ACT (IndustriALL MOU with Garment Brands)

In September 2019, brands who are members of the ACT living wage initiative adopted a joint due diligence framework to ensure their purchasing practices facilitate the payment of a living wage, as set out in the ACT Memorandum of Understanding. The AFWA Position on ACT offers AFWA’s assessment of the limitations of this initiative in truly delivering on its aim of achieving living wages.

Click here to read in: English

Phnom Penh Declaration: AFWA Kicks off Phase II | 2018

Asia Floor Wage Alliance met in 2018 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia to kick off the second phase of its work — after completion of the first phase of ten years. This declaration focuses on the main outcomes of this meeting. It discusses the challenges facing Asian garment unions, gender-based violence in industrial relations in global supply chains and AFWA’s Structure for Phase II of implementation.

Click here to read in: English | Kannada | Sinhala | Bahasa

Guiding Principles for Asia Floor Wage Pilot Projects | 2010

Asia Floor Wage Alliance has released Guiding Principles to conduct pilot projects in supplier factories on living wage, with buyers and multi-stakeholder initiatives, in order to practically test the implementation of the Asia Floor Wage.

Click here to read in: English

Asia Floor Wage and Gender Public Launch | 2009

The garment industry has historically been and continues to be, one of the most female-dominated industries in the world. It has the potential to lift millions of women and men out of poverty worldwide and can advance gender equality. Asia Floor Wage released this statement at the event of the launch of its Gender program in 2009, stating that this could only happen if the industry ensured decent jobs where a minimum living wage was provided.

Click here to read in: English

AFWA Public Launch Decision | Statement at Hong Kong, 2008

AFWA transitioned from an internal phase to an externally-oriented phase in 2008, moving the campaign for an Asian floor wage for garment workers to a public launch the next year. This was decided at AFWA's Hong Kong meeting in October 2008 and this statement was released.

Click here to read in: English

Position Statement of Asia Floor Wage Alliance at Dhaka

This statement explains the concept of Asia Floor Wage and the need for it, as discussed in Dhaka, Bangladesh. It can be used by AFWA partners to discuss the Asia Floor Wage concept with other allies. It also provides principles for conducting the Asia Floor Wage campaign for putting in place a living wage for garment workers.

Click here to read in: English

First Discussion Paper on an Asia Floor Wage

This statement was released after the first discussion of the India Committee (New Trade Union Initiative, Cividep, Fedina, Jobs with Justice-India, SAVE, Center for Education and Communication, Stree Jagruti) on an Asia Floor Wage. It incorporates comments received from consultations among groups in India and different parts of Asia about an Asian Floor-Level Wage Campaign in the garment export sector.

Click here to read in: English